Brasserie Cantillon

Brasserie CantillonBrasserie Cantillon
Brasserie CantillonBrasserie Cantillon
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

Rue Gheude 56
Brussels, 1070

+32 25 21 49 28 | map
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Rated: 4.61 by SierraFlight from Virginia

Oct 23, 2023
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.59/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5
Arriving at Cantillon is both exciting and anticlimactic in its humility and tranquility, particularly relative to most other beer bars in town. It's located in a very lived in, heavily Muslim residential neighborhood skirted by a smattering of markets, produce stands, clothing shops and more. As such, and it's worth noting, that the kabob to person ratio skyrockets here, which may be quite the boon depending on how much time you plan to spend downing lambic. The walk from downtown Brussels to here isn't too strenuous, taking you through much mellower streets than Paris, while also a bit more intimate and grungy if you're not used to Brussels yet. For someone who has called cities like Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Akron home, I felt right in my element.

The steward manning the entrance and retail counter at the time gave us a quick summary of history and the next steps we'd take while handing us a booklet before sending us on our way to a self-guided tour. You can read about the stops you're taking while in the physical space marked by a number that matches your stop in the booklet. Aside from the hallways lined with bottles stacked on top of bottles stacked on top of bottles, it was seeing the size of the koelschip in person that really blew my mind. It's absolutely massive compared to those I've seen elsewhere, such as the one at Jester King. It's located in an attic that would normally feel stuffy and hot, but is otherwise fairly well cooled down by the air flow coming in directly from the streets of Brussels through the open slats in the room. As we casually strolled through the much more dimly lit aging room, we caught sight of Jean Van Roy making notes about specific barrels before going to the bar to get our tasters.

As we finished up our tour-included sample pours of two year lambic, Bio Gueuze, and Sang Bleu, we were approached by a solo adventurer before we were able to even order our first bottle, and that set us off on an exploration of four lambic bottles, of which grapes were heavily featured on the menu in June. We were so invested in the moment with great company that we totally missed the fact that Lou Pepe Kriek was on the menu. Thankfully it popped back up two days later during our second visit, which also included another generous patron plopping down three more glasses of lambic on our table without coaxing.

Come here thirsty and ready to socialize with your fellow lambic fans, or at least share some pours, because you will more than likely have more paid forward to you than you will be able to pour in return. However, don't be afraid to be the first to start and break the ice, because it will turn into a wonderful flood of generosity around the room in no time flat.
Jul 07, 2023
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Rated by npolachek from New York

4.57/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75
Good place to actually have Cantillion beers!
May 22, 2023
Rated: 4.83 by CAcker from California

May 11, 2023
Rated: 4.97 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Aug 05, 2022
Rated: 4.89 by Affinity from Missouri

Apr 29, 2022
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Rated by OfficerKramitz from Pennsylvania

4.91/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
One of the best ones
Dec 31, 2020
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Reviewed by MTKATL from Georgia

5/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
It doesn't get much better than this. The unassuming entrance gives way to historic working brewery and barrel aging, cobwebs and all. The tasting room is quaint, but with plenty of seating. They had a fantastic bottle selection available when we went, and we found others were happy to share pours.
Dec 03, 2020
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Reviewed by DucksFan16 from Tennessee

4.63/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5
A once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Mecca! Had a really fun time taking the guided tour and walking through the barrel-room. Enjoyed numerous Lou Pepe vintages on-site (both Kriek and Framboise). Bought a T-shirt to bring back home with me. Definitely want to return for another visit!
Sep 17, 2020
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Reviewed by Tacoma_Dan from Washington

4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75
I visited Cantillon twice and this is a must visited if you love lambic. One of the best breweries in the world. Take the self guided brewery tour at the bare minimum, as you get to see truly the bare bones and massive barrel production Cantillon is. Tap room can be quiet or lively depending on the patrons. I wish the onsite list was much bigger as compared to 3F it is pretty small. The service was great both times, but the staff can be a bit gruff at times. 16 different beer offerings during my two visits, and met some cool people that we were able to share beers and tables with. Nice selection of merchandise and the to go bottle prices directly from the brewery can't be beat anywhere. Looking forward to my next visit in the future.
Jun 16, 2020
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Reviewed by cratez from Canada (ON)

5/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Visited with my wife on a recent trip to Brussels and Munich.

Had the following over an afternoon:
Cantillon Vigneronne 2019
Cantillon Kriek 100% Lambic
Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio
Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2016

Beers ranged from good to spectacular and I was glad to try the much-lauded Vigneronne. Also loved the basket presentation of the Lou Pepe.

Sublime atmosphere in the taproom with great opportunities for people-watching. We enjoyed our quiet table in the back corner.

Service was fantastic as drinks arrived instantly at the bar and our tour guide did an amazing job of conducting a very engaging brewery tour. I also bought a lambic glass, t-shirt, and sweater and the woman who checked us out was quite friendly.

Overall, we had a first-class experience here and Cantillon is a must-visit destination when in Brussels. A “bucket list” brewery that actually lives up to the hype. Recommended.
Apr 19, 2020
Rated: 4.66 by RiceOwls27 from Texas

Feb 05, 2020
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Reviewed by TrilliumFan from Massachusetts

4.94/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Like visiting Santa’s workshop. The guided tour was amazing. Merchandise is solid and the drink-in list is amazing. Take away prices are so reasonable. A must visit
Oct 01, 2019
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Reviewed by MikeM75 from Virginia

4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75
A really cool place. With a specialty in Belgium lambics, this is one of the best. The natural yeasts in the building date back to the early 1900s, when the brewery was opened. They never closed during WWII, so those yeasts just continue to age and spread - one of few true, natural fermentation lambics.
Sep 09, 2019
Rated: 4.83 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

Jul 20, 2019
Rated: 4.46 by SadMachine from New Jersey

May 16, 2019
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Reviewed by emerge077 from Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Pure living history. Cantillon embodies that more than most, and I was glad to learn there's a new museum renovation in the works upstairs. Visited 3 times on the TDG ‘19 trip and each time there was something unique and special to discover. This is mecca for traditional lambic lovers.

The tour is not to be missed, it really provides great perspective on the irreplaceable history here. Also be sure to check out the other tasting room upstairs, which is open limited hours. For TDG weekend they had close to 2 dozen different bottles available, which was very impressive.

More than anywhere else in Brussels, the crowd was very American here. Shared bottles with generous new acquaintances each time. Spoke with Jean for a bit, and he was also very generous with his time and shared a beer with us. Alberto and Jean-Pierre were friendly and masters at managing the crowd, no one held back opinions here either, which was refreshing.

Cantillon is a bucket-list experience, and impressively has the highest weighted rank on BA. I hope to return many times in the future.
May 13, 2019
Rated: 4.66 by simendahl from Norway

Apr 16, 2019
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Reviewed by DoctorZombies from Florida

4.8/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Outstanding, especially since the pour room moved upstairs with lots more space and tables. Service is good, but it can get a bit crowded when the tours are over and people get their small pours. Have always met fellow drinkers to share bottles with, and the variety of bottles to drink on site is always amazing. Can’t wait to return!
Apr 01, 2019
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Reviewed by RollTide7 from New Jersey

4.83/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
Cantillon is a beer mecca and must visit when in or near Belgium. Their onsite list is amazing with bottles you will not find in the US and at prices that are also amazing, $19 euros for St. Lam onsite! I would highly recommend their guided tour as I learned a lot about lambic production, though they also offer a self guided version as well.

On less busy days the tasting room is right across from the to go area which can get a little crowded later in the day. Note there is a newer tasting room that opens on weekends and is very nice (its up the stairs to the right instead of heading left to head down to the bathroom).

They also have bottles available to go, which can vary but usually includes the geuze and typically the kriek or gambrinus. Other seasonals and harder to find rarities can come or go quickly for takeaway. Its located very close to Brussels Midi...literally probably a 5-7 min walk so is highly worth a detour even if only in town for a short time!
Mar 13, 2019
Rated: 4.19 by Gobzilla from California

Mar 02, 2019
Rated: 5 by LanguedocRocks from Virginia

Dec 31, 2018
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Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25
We booked tickets for the English language tour and were not disapointed. cool tour of the brewhouse, coolship, and one of the barrel rooms, followed by some samples. We then stayed to share a couple of bottles as well, and buy some beer to take home in our suitcases. Beer on site and to-go was very reasonable compared to what you pay in the US. Staff was friendly and helpful to the multi-lingual crowd.
Dec 15, 2018
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Reviewed by BeerGlassesCollector from Cyprus

4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4
Very friendly and historic place. I learned a lot and everyone who was at the brewery was very friendly and helpful. The "drink -in" menu was quite good on the day. Highly recommended if you are a Cantillon fan
Nov 18, 2018
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Reviewed by ManBearPat from Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -14.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4
It was pretty cool.

I can kinda see why people like it.

Incredibly over-rated... I suppose I'm not the biggest fan of their styles, but feel I can objectively say they do a nice job... The reviews on here make it seem like you walk in only to be greeted by 'god' and get to walk hand in hand with him while you're there. This is simply false lol.

Its definitely a place where Americans go- didn't see any locals at all that weren't employees.

Its got an old-timey, rustic feel that was certainly unique. A little hard to find and definitely not the part of Brussels you'll wanna be in after dark.

I'll certainly seek out other breweries next time I'm in the area, but ultimately glad we went.
Nov 13, 2018
Rated: 4.75 by Beerbom from California

Oct 12, 2018
Rated: 4.38 by desint from Belgium

Oct 04, 2018
Rated: 4.4 by Hopsmid from Netherlands

Sep 03, 2018
Rated: 4.44 by REVZEB from Illinois

Aug 26, 2018
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Reviewed by njk82 from Virginia

5/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Great spot. Went in the summer of 2012, can't wait to go back. There was a self-guided tour and tasting, and the ability to purchase bottles and merchandise. Gorgeous, historic brewery. Really love being able to check it out.
Aug 15, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by robotic_being from Illinois

Aug 06, 2018
Rated: 5 by Scottie_A25 from Tennessee

Jul 20, 2018
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Reviewed by Harrison8 from Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75
Very interesting and historic place. Interesting in the sense that this famous brewery is rather... archaic, but that's also apart of its charm and a critical component of their traditional style lambic production. Before we get into the vibe of the place, let's take a moment to discuss the neighborhood. Brussels is divided into separate areas, each with their own government. Cantillon's location is in the midst of an older industrial, blue-collar area with some rough edges. A sign on the front counter tells customers to empty their cars of visible bags as, apparently, break-ins are fairly common. Aside from this, wandering in through the large wooden door (looks like a garage door, but opens like a regular door) sends the customer back decades. Exposed rafters with a small, quaint bar greet the customer. Down the way is the merchandise counter and the place where tours start. Across from the merchandise area is a small seating area with a dozen or so barrels set up with chairs around. Between all this is crate after crate of Cantillon bottles, some ready for consumption and others being aged. On my visit in particular, there were a couple palates of apricots with workers slicing them up in the corner as they prepared to produce a batch of Fou Foune. Amazing. Staff is attentive and knowledgeable and know a smattering of languages so everyone can feel welcome. The tour is self guided with a small booklet walking customers through the brewing process and a little history as they wander the facility. Old, thin steps may be tough on some knees and would be impossible with a stroller.

Quality is superb, with a selection of approximately a dozen bottles available for on-site consumption, a half dozen pours available, and another half dozen bottles to-go. All the beer is of the highest quality, although it's worth mention it's all spontaneously fermented. So those seeking a standard ale, lager, stout, IPA, etc would not be at home here. The focus is on traditional spontaneously fermented beers.

Service was good, being attentive and friendly, although you must go to the bar to order. Paying with a card requires someone to wait in line at the merchandise counter and then wait in line at the bar with a special, tagged receipt to pick up your order. Cash is recommended for more expedient service.

Selection has been covered above, but is solely focused on spontaneous fermentation, meaning everything is a lambic or geuze, either fruited or not.

All-in-all, a superb stop for those seeking great beer and beer history.
Jul 17, 2018
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Reviewed by SippingInHolland from Netherlands

4.47/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 5
Not so easy to find compared to other breweries. Once inside it's just a simple concrete hall with some casks and chairs around it.

The beers are absolutely fantastic. Despite the small to-go list there's quit some stuff you can drink on site.
Jul 16, 2018
Rated: 4.53 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Jul 05, 2018
Rated: 4.39 by ckeegan04 from Texas

Jun 20, 2018
Rated: 4.47 by kingjohnh from New Mexico

Jun 11, 2018
Rated: 4.97 by Keith_R from Georgia

Apr 21, 2018
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Reviewed by Quafftastic from Virginia

4.73/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5
A must visit from October to April when they are brewing, especially if you can get there mid afternoon when cool ship is filled to experience the heat, smell and sight of spontaneous fermentation. The Town has certainly grown up around it last 30 years but beer is still top notch. Not cheap but great tour , make friends on it or chat up some folks in the tasting area to allow sharing a number of bottles.
Apr 18, 2018
Rated: 4.83 by Jgmiller829 from Massachusetts

Mar 29, 2018
Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels, Belgium
Brewery rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 27691 ratings